On Monday, July 14th, the Alameda Labor Council passed the following resolution in response to the banning of “Urban Dreams” by the Oakland Unified School District (OUSD).
The “Urban Dreams” website includes course material about Mumia Abu-Jamal which was used in the teach-in for Mumia in Oakland in 1999, comparing Mumia to Martin Luther King, Jr. Because of this, the Fraternal Order of Police attacked the website last April on Fox News, and OUSD administrators immediately and unilaterally took the website down.
This public intimidation campaign comes right after the FOP blocked Debo Adegbele from serving as the Assistant Attorney General for the Department of Justice. Adegbele was involved in defending Mumia while working at the NAACP Legal Defense and Education fund. The FOP whipped up Democratic and Republican support to block his nomination. The FOP believes that, as an outspoken critic of the corruption and racism of the American legal system and both parties of American capitalism, Mumia must be silenced. In additional to legal and media pressure, they have in the past also utilized threats and actual physical violence against Mumia and his supporters.
We demand that the Urban Dreams website be reinstated on OUSD’s website.
The Labor Action Committee to Free Mumia Abu-Jamal
Full Text of Resolution
Whereas Mumia Abu-Jamal, an award winning journalist, defender of the rights of the working class, people of color, and oppressed people has been imprisoned since 1982, recently secretly and illegally sentenced to life in prison without parole for a crime he didn’t commit after his death sentence was finally overturned,
Whereas the Oakland Unified School Districts censorship of the Urban Dreams Website was in reaction to a Fox News and Fraternal Order of Police attack on a lesson asking students to consider a parallel between censorship of Martin Luther Kingâ€TMs radical ideas and censorship of Mumia Abu Jamal, and
Whereas it is dangerous and unacceptable to allow the police to determine the curriculum of a major school district like Oakland, or any school district,
Whereas removal of the Urban Dreams OUSD website denies educators and student access to invaluable curriculum resources by Oakland teachers with social justice themes promoting critical thinking, and
Whereas in 1999, the Oakland Education Association led the teach-in on Mumia Abu Jamal and the death penalty which helped deepen the debate in the U.S. on the death penalty itself, and greatly intensified the spotlight on the widespread issue of wrongful conviction and demanded justice for Mumia, and
Whereas OEA and ALCOSTA/CTA cited the Mumia teach-in and the censored unit on Martin Luther King Jr. in its Human Rights WHO AWARD for 2013,
Be it resolved that the Alameda Labor Council condemns OUSD’s censorship of the Urban Dreams website and demands that it immediately restore access to all materials on the website, reaffirms its demand for justice for Mumia Abu Jamal, and issues a press release to seek the widest possible support from defenders of free speech and those who seek justice for Mumia.